The Clarion June, 2024

Volume 5, Issue 6            June 2024  


It’s time for fun in the sun. Everyone has their special season, but which season is best of all? Here is a sandiegram that talks about just that.

What Season is Best of All?

Winter, spring, summer, or fall—
Lord, what season is best of all?
How can I compare the beauty of a silent night
as the flakes of snow fall gently on the ground
to the beauty of spring as the trees become alive
and buds form on the branches?
Lord, how can I compare the beauty of Your blanket of snow
that covers the trees as they sleep to the beauty of spring
as the earth renews itself and gives life to nature?
How can I compare the wonderment of spring
to summer as the flowers bloom and the warmth of the sun returns?
How can I compare the excitement of summer and its time of relaxing
to the beauty of fall when the trees and shrubs
turn from green into lovely fall colors
and reach a new height of beauty?
Lord, just as You created the seasons of nature,
You also created the seasons of our lives.
All seasons have their beauty
just as all seasons in our lives are beautiful
and should be lived to the fullest in Your love, peace, and joy.

Sandiegram/What Season is Best of All/Copyright2010

Enjoy all that June has to offer, and remember, like every day is the day that the Lord has made, so too, with every month.

Egypt: The Kings Part 12

In the previous months we have gone from Abraham to Moses. We saw that it was mainly famines that brought the Patriarch to Egypt. It was a famine that brought Israel and when they left over 400 years later, Egypt’s crops and livestock were in ruins. Joseph was made second in command and Israel was welcomed, just as Abraham was welcomed. Moses became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and he too, was in line for the throne. Life was good in Egypt, but that all changed with the change in the Pharaohs. God did miracles in Egypt under Joseph, and He did miracles that brought judgment under Moses. It was like a two sided coin. But God delivered Israel as He said He would to Abraham. In Exodus 14:13 Moses told the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today;  for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again.” Maybe that’s true for these particular Egyptians, because they all died, but Israel still wanted their Egypt. Time and time again in the wilderness the people wanted to go back to Egypt. Psalm 106: 7-15 tells us, “Our fathers did not consider    Your wonders in Egypt; they did not remember the greatness of Your mercy,   but rebelled against Him at the sea, by the Red Sea. Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake,    that He might make His mighty power known. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it was dried up,    so He led them through the depths as through the wilderness. He saved them from the hand of him who hated them    and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. The waters covered their enemies;    there was not one of them left. Then they believed His words;  they sang His praise. But they soon forgot His works,     they did not wait for His counsel, but they lusted exceedingly in the wilderness    and tested God in the desert.He gave them their request,   but He sent a wasting disease on them.” 1 Corinthians 10:11 says this,   “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” Now if Egypt represents the world, then is it not like that still today? People, Christian people, still want to be part of Egypt. We leave Egypt when we see the truth about God’s salvation, but then like Proverbs 26:11 says,  “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” We fall right back into our old habits, because today we think that we can be in Egypt, and still be with God. Scripture tells us that we can not sit on the fence. We can’t be lukewarm as Revelation 3:15-16 tells us. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth.”  1 John 1: 6-10 says,  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Messiah Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” In Deuteronomy 17: 14-17 God tells Israel this,  “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you take possession of it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will appoint a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’  you shall in fact appoint a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses. One from among your countrymen you shall appoint as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves, anyone who is not your countryman.  In any case, he is not to acquire many horses for himself, nor shall he make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’  And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” God did not want His people to ever go back to Egypt. Why? Because the Israelites were slaves, and Egypt was their master. But God fought for them and He won the battle, and now the people belonged to God. Exodus 19:4-6 says,  “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.  Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;  and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” So let’s look at Solomon, David’s son who sat on the throne, who was considered very wise. 1 Kings 3:1-9 records this prayer of Solomon. “Then Solomon said, ‘You have shown great faithfulness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great faithfulness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.  And now, Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am like a little boy; I do not know how to go out or come in.  And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.  So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is capable of judging this great people of Yours?” God gave Solomon the wisdom to rule and yet we find Solomon doing many things that were against God. 1 Kings 3:1-4, “Now Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her to the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. Now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statues of his father David, except that he was sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.  And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, because that was the great high place;

Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.” 1 Kings 9:16 goes on to say, “For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and overthrown Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city; and he had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife.”  1 Kings 10: 26-29 goes on to say,  “Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.  And the king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland.  Also Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s merchants acquired them from Kue for a price.  A chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and by the same means they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of the Arameans.” 1 Kings 11:26-29 tells us this,Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,  from the nations of which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you; they will certainly turn your heart away to follow their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, who were princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned his heart away.  For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of his father David had been.  Solomon became a follower of Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and of Milcom the abhorrent idol of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as his father David had done.  Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abhorrent idol of Moab, on the mountain that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abhorrent idol of the sons of Ammon. He also did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,  and had commanded him regarding this thing, that he was not to follow other gods; but he did not comply with what the Lord had commanded.  So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you, and will give it to your servant.”

Remember, this was all written as an example to us so that we do not run back to Egypt once we leave it for our Messiah. Isaiah 27:13 says, “It will come about also on that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem..” Yes, Egypt will be saved in the last days for they will finally recognize the One True God.

Kids Corner:                 Pentecost/Shavuot

Did you know that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses on the very first Pentecost, Exodus 19-20? In the days of the Apostles, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to them in the form of flaming fire upon their heads, Acts 2. In Hebrew the word for Pentecost is Shavuot. Shavuot means weeks, and Pentecost means 50. Pentecost comes 50 days after the Resurrection of our Savior, and Shavuot is 7 weeks after the Feast of First Fruits which is the Resurrection. Did you know that Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:20, that our Savior is the First Fruits from the dead? This means that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit work together. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:17 that the Armor of God has a sword, and it is called the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This year the Biblical Feast day of Pentecost also known as Shavuot is on June 12.

Hebrew Corner:                      Martyrs, Mark

Mark was born into the tribe of Levi in Cyrene, which is now Libya.  He is also known by the name John Mark. He came to the knowledge of the Messiah through Peter. He is the Mark that bears his name on the gospel of Mark. Mark is known as Mark the Evangelist. He was the cousin of Barnabas. After Yeshua called His original twelve Apostles, He sent out seventy more disciples and  Mark is one of these “Seventy Disciples” sent out in Luke 10:1, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.”

Mark later became a traveling companion to Peter and he wrote down all Peter’s sermons, thus allowing him to write the gospel of Mark. Coptic tradition according to John 20, also holds that Mark the Evangelist hosted the disciples in his house after Yeshua’s death, that the resurrected Messiah Yeshua came to Mark’s house  and that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost in the same house. Mark’s mother’s house in Jerusalem also seemed to be the gathering place for the believers like when Peter was set free from jail by the angel, this is where he went first as Acts 12:11-12 tells us, “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, ‘Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”’

After the Jerusalem Council Mark traveled with Barnabas. Nineteen years after the Ascension of the Messiah, Mark went to Alexandria and founded the first Messianic Congregation of Alexandria.  The Coptic Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Coptic Catholic Church all trace their roots to this congregation. Mark became the first Bishop and is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa. Mark is also accredited to being in Antioch and Cyprus, Venice and Aquileia,  Italy. His symbol is a lion. When Mark returned to Alexandria in 68 Common Era, the pagan people resented him for turning so many of the people of Alexandria to Chrisitanity and away from their pagan gods whom they worshiped. So they put a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets till he was literally in pieces. 

He is just one more person who sets the example of being a disciple as  Yeshua says in 

Matthew 16:24, “If anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”

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